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Thursday, June 7, 2012

UK Anti-Piracy Legislation Postponed

The provisions of the anti-piracy law of the United Kingdom (under its Digital Economy Act) have been delayed again until 2014. Meanwhile, the “three-strikes” regime was designed to cut off repeat infringers and illegal file-sharers.

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Actually, the “three-strikes” regime consists in the involvement of Internet service providers, because they are the ones to send notifications to alleged pirates (if caught) and monitor the overflow of authorized file-sharing. However, the country’s government department responsible with the DEA confirmed that all these plans of the creative industry have been put to a hold until 2014. The Big Content must be disappointed…

Among the measures that the graduated response system includes, you can find broadband limitations, but they only apply as a final solution for repeat infringers. Ofcom, the country’s communication regulator, had also confirmed earlier that it would start sending out warnings to file-sharers since the middle of 2013.

Nevertheless, because of legal challenges and bids raised (to clarify the legislation) by ISPs, the anti-piracy law has been delayed. The DEA was passed at the end of 2011 Labour government. Because of the bill’s controversy, major part of MPs withdrew their support, and the bill ended up with being voted by less than 10% of all the country’s representatives.

Meanwhile, the most prestigious Internet service providers of the United Kingdom, TalkTalk and BT, decided to intervene, saying that the legislation was breaching EU laws unsuccessfully. Moreover, the government of the United Kingdom had also faced criticism after the questions were raised in a Parliamentary committee regarding the evidence for the bill.

Since 2015 is the election year, this piece of legislation will undoubtedly appear at the centre of heated debates. You can imagine the Labour government drafting and implementing the controversial anti-piracy act, and the Conservative-led coalition government pushing through its measures. Of course, in 3 years it will be a hot topic for the politicians on the soapboxes. As for now, the pirates can sleep easily, at least until any new developments.

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